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India has asked China to stop construction in PaK: VK Singh

Press Trust of India




New Delhi, August 9 :India has conveyed its concern to Beijing over Chinese construction activities in Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK) and has asked them to stop it, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday. In a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, V K Singh, Minister of State in the External Affairs Ministry, said India’s consistent and principled position has been that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
He asserted that Pakistan was in illegal and forcible occupation of a part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. “Government is aware of Chinese construction activities in PaK. The government has conveyed to the Chinese side, including at the highest level, its concern over these activities, which we see as violating our sovereignty and territorial integrity. We have asked the Chinese side to cease these activities,” Singh said.
In response to another question on ‘Pakistan-promoted propaganda’ on social media to mislead the people of Kashmir, the MoS said the government consistently monitors the situation and takes all possible measures to maintain law and order and safeguard national interest and security.
He said during an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan on April 27-28 this year, the two leaders discussed the possibility of cooperation between India, China and Afghanistan. “Both sides agreed to undertake capacity building programme for Afghan diplomats in India and China later this year,” Singh added.



How ‘ill-equipped’ private hospitals risk lives of pregnant women, unborn kids ‘for money’

Hirra Azmat



Srinagar, Oct 21: Her eighth month of pregnancy, and she looked forward to delivering her first baby. But in a week, her health deteriorated.

The distraught family members began to gather in front of the doctor’s chamber at a noted private hospital in Kashmir, demanding an explanation from the consultant.

The hospital authorities had categorically told them that Shazia (name changed) has developed some “serious health complications, which they can’t deal with”.

“I had been visiting the hospital for regular check-ups for the last eight months. Last time when I visited the hospital, they performed several tests including an ultrasound,” said Shazia

Her husband, Nazir Ahmad (name changed), said every time they went for a check-up, she was asked to do more tests.

“The doctor would ask for a new test on almost every visit. After going through the reports, she reassured that the baby was healthy,” Nazir said.

However, the things turned topsy-turvy, as Shazia had begun vomiting frequently and turned feeble with each passing day.

“Her condition was such that she couldn’t even digest water. I made several rounds to the hospital and spent around Rs 50-60 thousand on the tests, but all of them yielded no result,” said Nazir.

Last week when Shazia turned mute, Nazir rushed her to the Lal Ded (LD) Hospital, the premier government-run maternity facility in the valley.

“Initially, the government hospital was reluctant to admit her and bashed me for my callousness. They accused me of taking here there when the survival chances for the child were zero. Who would tell them it was negligence on part of the private hospital?” asked Nazir.

She was diagnosed with extreme dehydration and put on several bottles of dextrose.

Another tale of medical negligence was narrated by a 24-year-old Jabeen (name changed). She also received treatment from the same doctor but was later on referred to the LD Hospital.

Two weeks prior to the delivery, Jabeen developed a searing pain in the stomach and was taken to the hospital, where she performed an ultrasound test.

“The doctors, after going through my reports, clearly told me that they had done their job and she should see a new doctor,” Jabeen said.

She was immediately rushed to the LD Hospital, where the doctors informed her that there were little chances of the baby’s survival.

“I couldn’t believe what they said. My doctor kept on telling me that my baby was perfectly healthy,” said Jabeen.

Jabeen complained that she, too, was prescribed repeated tests and “expensive” medicines.

“I spent around Rs 60,000 on the tests and medication, but I was left high and dry in the end,” she lamented.

While a huge number of private hospitals and nursing homes have mushroomed in Jammu and Kashmir over the years, most of them lack necessary facilities with the authorities failing to regulate their working.

According to the official details, 44 private hospitals and nursing homes are registered with the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir.

Officials said of these 44 private hospitals and nursing homes, only one is having a registered blood bank.

However, officials said the other hospitals were given registrations after they were affiliated with the government hospitals and allowed to procure blood from there at the time of emergency.

A senior medico at the SMHS Hospital said it was necessary for every hospital to have its own blood bank.

“If there are complications during the surgery or at the time of emergency, these hospitals most of the times shift patients to tertiary care government hospitals thus risking the lives of patients,” the medico said.

An official of health department said a team of officials inspect hospitals prior to its registration.

“Their registration is also being renewed every three years. We check their manpower, infrastructure and they also have to get the NOC from the fire services department, pollution control department, and municipal committees,” he said.

Except a few, these hospitals have no accident and emergency units, which is compulsory for every hospital, and they also lack intensive care units, ventilators and the diagnostic facilities.

Dr Shehnaz Teing, a noted gynaecologist said, “We have all the facilities here at the LD Hospital to deal with a patient who develops any complications. On the contrary, there are no blood banks, intensive care units, advanced equipment, neo-natal intensive care units within the private institutes in the valley.”

Teing said, “It’s true that there is more comfort in the private hospitals, but the safety lies within the government hospitals.”

Atul Dulloo, Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Department, refused to comment.



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Rajnath to visit JK on Tuesday; To assess security, meet political leaders

Press Trust of India



New Delhi, Oct 21: Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday during which he will review the security situation in the state and interact with political leaders, officials said.

During the day-long visit, Singh will attend a high-level meeting with Governor Satya Pal Mailk and top civil, police and security forces officials and assess the prevailing situation.

The home minister will review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the valley and along the border with Pakistan, during his visit on October 23, a Home Ministry official said Sunday.

The visit of the home minister to Jammu and Kashmir comes following the urban local body and the panchayat elections, which were boycotted by the two major political parties — the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party.

The home minister is expected to meet leaders of political parties in Jammu and Kashmir during his visit, the official said.

The state has been under the Governor’s rule after PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti had resigned as Chief Minister in June following the withdrawal of support by the BJP to her government.

Singh is also likely to meet representatives of some civil society groups, another official said. (PTI)


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Guv Malik favours fresh assembly election

Press Trust of India



Srinagar, Oct 21: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has favoured holding of early election to the Assembly, saying he does not think a popular government can be formed out of the present house after the collapse of the BJP-PDP coalition dispensation in June.

The state has been under Governor’s rule since Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti resigned as Chief Minister in June following the withdrawal of support by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to her government.

There have been speculations about behind-the-scene efforts to put together a new government. No party enjoys a majority in the 87-member Assembly, in which the PDP has 28 MLAs, the BJP 25 and the National Conference 15.

Putting such speculations to rest, Malik told PTI in an interview here that he would not be part of any shenanigans.

Asked if a popular government can be formed out of the present Assembly, the Governor replied, “I don’t think so. At least, I will not be part of any ‘dhandli’ (shenanigans). I have not been given any such indication either by the prime minister or by any other central leader.”

To a question on holding of fresh elections to the Assembly whose tenure ends in December 2020, Malik said that he wished that the elections were held at the earliest.

“The decision will be taken by the Centre and the Election Commission. My job is to discharge dual responsibility (of Governor and administrator) which I will continue to do… I wish that elections are held at the earliest,” he said.

On the contentious issue of Article 35A of the Constitution, which empowers the state’s legislature to define the permanent residents and provide them special rights, the Governor said that his administration would seek deferment of the hearings on the matter in the Supreme Court.

“We will inform the Supreme Court that we are not an elected government and request that the matter be deferred till an elected government is in place,” he said.

The Supreme Court, in its August 31 order, has directed that the matter be listed in the second week of January next year. The challenge to Article 35A has led to widespread protests in Kashmir Valley and prompted two major mainstream parties — the National Conference and the PDP — to boycott the recent local body elections, results of which were declared on Sunday.



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